Monday, February 21, 2005

Getting my addiction under control

I think I've worked it out now. I have a system, see—a system that made last week the most productive week to date in my work on my novel, to the tune of nearly 5,000 words. I wrote over 620 words every day last week. And here's how I did it.

At one point,I toyed with the idea of laying down the law: No World of Warcraft unless I had written a chapter already that week. Yeah, right. That wasn't going anywhere.

But my new rule is working. It goes like this: No World of Warcraft unless I've already written at least 670 words that day. 

So every day last week, I managed to get up and do at least a little writing in the morning. Then, when I got my son into bed, instead of saying, "Oh, I'm too tired to write... I'll play WoW for four hours instead," I would sit down to write, thinking, "OK, 200"—or 400, or 670—"more words and then I can play WoW guilt-free."

The results were spectacular.

Today's the first real test. I failed to get up early enough to write anything this morning. I'm home from work, my son is busy reading Calvin & Hobbes... I could be playing WoW. But I'm not going to. I'm going to try to write those 670 words, and I'm not going to click that icon down in my Dock until I do.

That's how I'm getting my addiction under control, and getting my novel written, all in one brilliant stroke of self-discipline.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

The Order of the Stick

I can't remember when I first read the Order of the Stick. I remember that it was at Jesse Decker's desk, when Jesse was still a relatively new designer (fresh from DRAGON Magazine, before he became Development Manager). I remember reading the strip, laughing like heck, and going back to my desk to read all the archives up to that point. I remember not getting very much work done that day, but I don't remember what day it was. 
I met Rich Burlew when he came to Wizards to talk with us about his proposal for the setting search. I liked his proposal a lot, and I still hope we do more with it some day. Would it be utterly inappropriate for me to tell you that the creepy death-worshipping elves of Aerenal originally appeared in Rich's setting, and we liked them so much we incorporated them into Eberron? Probably, but I guess it's too late now. 
Now Rich is selling a compilation of the Order of the Stick comics. It's going to be a fabulous book. You should buy one 
Oh, and Rich asked me to write the preface to the book. How cool is that? I was tickled to do it. I guess I still don't recognize the fact that I have any degree of fame in this tiny little community of gamers. It was an honor.
This is the picture of me that Rich drew to accompany the preface in the book. Looks just like me, doesn't it?